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A cheesy celebration! Barrys Bay Cheese

October 6 marked a milestone worth cheesing over for Barrys Bay Cheese – 125 years in business as award winning cheesemakers! And the loved locals are not waning with old ages, that awards tally includes a record 19 medals at this year’s New Zealand Cheese Awards.


PHOTOS: Julie Gursha Photography


No birthday is complete without a party, so Barrys Bay Cheese celebrated in style over Labour weekend, attracting past employees, local community and alumni.

“We think it’s pretty special that we’re the oldest artisan cheese company in New Zealand, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate our 125th anniversary,” says sales and marketing coordinator Kate Crawford.

And celebrate they did, with the sweet sounds of The Eastern Band and stunning weather bringing in the crowd. Foodies were treated to Empire Chicken, Giulio Sturla’s Cheesebreads, local sausages and of course cheese platters by Barrys Bay.

The cheese is rich in taste and rich in heritage. “We have such a meaningful history, both on Banks Peninsula and in the NZ Dairy Industry. It has been invaluable collecting stories to share from the last 125 years,” says Kate.

Curious to see what a multi award-winning cheese tastes like? Stop in at the Barrys Bay Cheese Factory and Shop on Banks Peninsula, order online, or visit the list of stockists at the website below.

PHOTOS: Julie Gursha Photography


All that jazz: Big Band Festival

Dust off your dancing shoes because the Christchurch Big Band Festival is gearing up for its 14th annual musical extravaganza this Labour weekend. Through rain, shine, earthquakes and now a global pandemic; the sweet sounds of smooth jazz will be gracing the city’s ears during the unique five-day music festival.



Performers from all over New Zealand will flood in, followed by hundreds of partners and supporters, for the much-anticipated event. Riverside Market, Salt (Evolution) Square, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Tūranga Library, and many more quintessential Canterbury locations will serve as the backdrop for 24 mini concerts.

Run by the community for the community, it is an event for everyone to enjoy whether you are part of the swing dance community, a proud parent or supporter, jazz enthusiast or a curious passer-by.

A new and unique feature this year is the debut of the Big Band Ball at Welles Street on Sunday October 25. For $40 you can get your swing on and dance the night away to three amazing big bands.

Continuous canapes and a cash bar will equal a great night – and perhaps some sore feet for the famous big band picnic the following day.

The festival runs from October 22 to 26, 2020, with something for all ages from early child to the retired. For more information about the festival, programme or ticketed events visit the festival website.


All fun and games: Melton Estate

Exciting new things are happening for local winery Melton Estate. An expansive setting for weddings, conferences, and Christmas parties – this boutique vineyard is adding yet another reason to the list of reasons to have your next event here.


Three words; multi-purpose games lawn. The new space includes two Pétanque courts and lawns for games like badminton, volleyball, and croquet.

But it does not end there. In collaboration with Garden City Helicopters, customers can purchase a package that takes them from the airport to Melton Estate for lunch via helicopter – only to land on the new games lawn.

In true form of out with the old and in with the new, a brand-new vineyard has been planted next to the games lawn growing chardonnay and pinot grapes, two of Melton Estate’s signature wines.

Make the most of your event this summer by choosing Melton Estate. The new lawn can be booked as a part of your conference, wedding, or Christmas event.

For more information contact Philip Caunter on 021 350 531 or email


Elegant year end events: The George

Commemorate the end of an unforgettable year with an elegant soiree at The George, a Christchurch destination for those who appreciate the finer things. Here, the range of world-class hospitality offerings can be tailored to suit any corporate or social get together.

Overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park, The George is an award-winning boutique hotel on the banks of the Avon River known for its immersive sophistication spread across an award-winning restaurant, five conference spaces and the private and stately The Residence.

Capitalise on this accessibly luxurious city setting for your end of year client or social function – whether that is a cocktail party, board lunch, classy high tea, sit down dinner or guided wine tasting.

The beauty of The George not only lies in its stunning setting, esteemed cuisine and grand interior décor, but the flexibility of its offerings to elevate your function or event – from canapé to digestif.

This light-filled space overlooks the Avon River and the sprawling Hagley Park, resplendent in its springtime glory.
Parkview can host up to 90 people for a seated, multi-course banquet or 150 for a cocktail affair.
Enjoy a bespoke, wine-matched menu crafted by the team behind two coveted Cuisine Good Food Award hats and two international Wine Spectator wine glasses.

Elevate an end of year board meeting, or host an intimate cocktail, lunch, high tea or dinner party at the stately three-bedroom private villa adjacent to The George hotel.
Home to a private board-cum-dining room bookended by a display of cellared salmanazars and French bay windows, and a sitting room which opens onto the charming private lawn and rose gardens.
Welcome guests with a champagne on the manicured lawn, before coming inside for an intimate cocktail party for up to 35.

Step into the triple threat of 50 Bistro for stylishly casual all-day neo-bistro dining befitting long lunches, special-occasion dinners as well as refreshing breakfasts the morning after.
Divided across a restaurant, conservatory and lounge bar, the secluded yet light-filled conservatory can seat guests in one long table of 22, or enjoy a more casual, multi-table set up for up to 30. As with the other options, tailored menus can be developed to suit the mood and occasion of your special event.
A resident sommelier can also guide a wine flight through the world class wine list, and ever-expanding gin and whisky menus.

ELEVATED EVENTS: An array of spaces and customisable offerings for any size corporate or social meeting, cocktail party, dinner, high tea, brunch or breakfast.
BESPOKE MENUS: Award-winning chefs and sommeliers can design bespoke cuisine and beverage offerings.
(03) 371 0255

Tempting Fête: Geraldine Summer Fete

Thursday 5 November is the Red Letter Day in Geraldine this year for a unique shopping event held at the spectacular Stover Garden, Main North Road Geraldine.


Bursting with over 200 high quality stalls this home, garden and lifestyle fête brings you the finest selection of creators to ensure a day of indulgence and elegance for you and your friends.

Wander through Stover’s stunning gardens while listening to live music and enjoying the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of this elegant Christmas shopping event.

With an amazing selection of products to choose from, this exclusive shopping occasion will be a splendid day out for all.

Save the date and make a day of it to enjoy the beautiful country setting!

A fabulous day out for everyone. You can buy tickets on the website – – or at the gate on the day. Free car parking.


Bridal Bonanza: Canterbury Bride of the Year

The sentiment behind your wedding day is, undoubtedly, the most important aspect, but let’s be honest here, the bride’s entry is the moment that all in attendance are waiting for with baited breath.




That perfect dress which is said to be the focus of attention on a wedding day is worn just once before being tucked away in the back of the wardrobe, never to be worn again… that is, until now.

The 2020 Canterbury Bride of the Year is your chance to wear that dress again without the stress and pressure that comes with the Big Day, event founder Suzanne Carson explains.

“We started the Canterbury Bride of the Year in 2008, primarily for ladies to relive their wedding day and wear their dress again, but also to give them the opportunity to meet other brides in a relaxing environment.

“These women make lifelong friends. It becomes a milestone in their life in much the same way as their wedding.”

Held this year at Rydges Latimer on Sunday 27 September and in support of Canterbury Westcoast Air Rescue, this year’s event will be packed with exciting opportunities for engaged couples.

The wedding industry has come together and they will experience their wedding suppliers in action, in real time; celebrants, vocalists, florists, décor stylists, to name a few.

Opportunities to win some very exciting prizes, including a $3000 wedding dress, a bride’s party pamper session, florals for the wedding day and much more.

“The event is about supporting the wedding industry, and bringing them to you, so we will be focusing on introducing bridal trends, suppliers and options.”

Engaged couples will witness previous season’s brides vying for the Canterbury Bride of the Year 2020, Canterbury Bridesmaid of the Year 2020 and Canterbury Flower Girl of the Year 2020 titles, with an exceptional line-up for judges, including Dancing with the Stars’ Vanessa Cole.

The evening is expected to be the wedding event of the year.

Entries are still being accepted until 15 September, email Phone 0800 377 7800.

Event Tickets can be purchased from Eventfinda.


Secrets to event success

Running an event without a hitch – whether you’re getting hitched or in command of a corporate soirée – requires a lot of co-ordination. Like any Hollywood blockbuster, the hardest work goes on behind the scenes. And an event planner can save your stress levels, tighten your budget – and more. Here’s our reasons to consider hiring some help for your wedding, event or conference.


Despite what you may think, an experienced planner can actually bring down your costs. Sticking to budgets is what planners specialise in, and they can also help you accurately forecast those costs to avoid any hidden surprises.

Event planners not only have a rich network of contacts who may offer them special rates or package deals, but they are adept at having any awkward price-related conversations which may arise, so you don’t have to…

…Which brings us to the next point. They do all the work, so you don’t have to. The stress and pressure of pulling off an event can reduce the shine for even the most enthusiastic host. So why not outsource that?

Seamless events are rich in details; the little touches which make a person’s day (or night) memorable. This could be physical details like name cards or dietary requirements, to ensuring seating arrangements don’t leave anyone without a familiar face nearby. Event planners live in the details, including the ones you didn’t even know existed!


Putting your best foot forward: Event Professionals

When it comes to your event, be it a product launch, conference, business incentive or an award event, you want it to be a symbolic representation of your business – professional, seamless and memorable. After all, we’ve long known it’s the first impressions which count.



With more than 30 years of event management experience of the highest calibre, Event Professionals was established by Suzanne Carson to help you put your best corporate foot forward.

Creative, customised and comprehensive, Suzanne can look after as little or as much as you require, including planning, design and style expertise.

“We’re here to help create the right environment for your clients or guests, no matter what that entails, from equipment required, to the ambience and ultimate look,” Suzanne explains.

“A great event needs to look good, feel good and meet all expectations.”

Suzanne has moved heavily into styling and has an enormous range of décor and linens available to create the look you want, working to strict timetables and your budget.

“We’re very fussy and never walk away without being completely happy with the finished product. We make sure it’s perfect all the way.”

Suzanne started her career in the travel industry before her role evolved into the conference industry. Awards dinners are a pet love, evidenced on her Instagram page. “I love the corporate market because of the professionalism and etiquette it represents,” she says.

“I threw myself in boots and all and I still love it as much as the day I started.”

For more information, phone Suzanne on 021 369 414 or email


So, why Rossendale? Rossendale Vineyard

Just a stone’s throw from the city, Rossendale Vineyard feels like a world of its own.


With large outdoor spaces and flexible indoor areas, this relaxed and private venue is adaptable for any function or event.

Offering delicious, nutritious, and interesting dining options, their chef can cater for all tastes and budgets.

Providing a highly personalised and professional service to make your event a reality, their experienced planners will help at every step to ensure your event runs perfectly.

All of this could be yours for your next conference, event or function within just a short 15-minute drive from the city centre.

Phone 03 322 7780 or email for an obligation-free quote


Setting the scene: Amuri Estate

If wowing the crowd is on the conference and events cards for you, then Amuri Estate in the Hanmer countryside can help you do it.

Photo by Karl Van Beek


Just 10 minutes out of the village and 90-minutes from Christchurch, Amuri Estate’s supreme views set the scene for perfection, while the luscious variety of spaces ensures events of all shapes, sizes and styles can be catered for.

The new modern barn style building has a large reception hall with capacity for 200 and a small meeting room with capacity for 20 to 60, including bathroom, kitchen and bar facilities, and breakout spaces.

On-site accommodation includes a lodge sleeping six within three king rooms with ensuites, and a kitchen-living area, while the Wallace Peak Cottage sleeps two in a king room and has a kitchen-living area and log fire.

Photo by Karl Van Beek

When it comes to catering, Amuri works with three catering companies, ensuring you can get the cuisine and drinks of your choice in buffet, plated and shared styles from the fully-equipped kitchen and bar.

Amuri Estate has a hire catalogue and equipment packages available including AV, styling, table settings and more – which make organising your event a breeze.

Photo by Bethany Howarth

A qualified event manager, Vanessa Orr is on hand to help co-ordinate as little or as much as required; organising meetings, the run sheet, and event plan, and liaising with the entertainment, photographer and caterer – if you so wish.

“I love seeing events come together; our stunning views ensure a picture-perfect backdrop to any event, from product launches to conferences,” she says. | Ph: 03 3155 351 |